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Sanofi-aventis Delivers 2008 Results Above Guidance
Date:2/11/2009

e cost adaptation policy implemented since 2006 led to a further improvement of 0.9 of a point in the ratio of selling and general expenses to net sales, which fell to 26.0%.

Other current operating income and expenses showed net income of EUR 203 million, versus net income of EUR 276 million in 2007. In terms of alliances, income from Copaxone(R) more than offset lower income from other products (Actonel(R), Allegra(R), etc). Other factors explaining the year-on-year change in this item include lower gains on disposals, environmental provisions, and less favorable foreign exchange results.

Operating income - current(1) was EUR 9,762 million (up 0.9% on a reported basis, or 8.5% at constant exchange rates), and represented 35.4% of net sales - an improvement of 0.9 of a point relative to 2007.

Net financial expenses were EUR 270 million, against EUR 139 million in 2007. Interest expense on debt totaled EUR 191 million, compared with EUR 223 million in 2007. Financial foreign exchange brought a net charge of EUR 74 million, versus a net gain of EUR 87 million in 2007; this was mainly due to the impact of the differential in interest rates between the U.S. dollar and the euro on hedges of cash invested by our American subsidiaries.

The effective tax rate was 29.0%, compared with 30.6% in 2007, due in particular to tax rate cuts in Germany.

The share of profits from associates was up 17.1% at EUR 890 million, with the share of after-tax profits from territories managed by BMS under the Plavix(R) and Avapro(R) alliance 18.9% higher at EUR 624 million. The contributions from Sanofi Pasteur MSD and Zentiva rose, while the Merial contribution fell due to adverse foreign exchange effects.

Minority interests were 5.3% higher at EUR 441 million. The share of pre-tax profits paid to BMS from territories managed by sanofi-aven
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